The AVI (Audio-Video Interleaved) format is the Windows standard for movie files. The .avi file-name extension indicates a Windows AVI movie file.
BMP files are still-image bitmap files in the Windows bitmap (.bmp) format.
A file format that stores a single frame of a motion picture or video data stream. Each frame is saved as cineon version 4.5 with a CIN file-name extension. The file contains no user-defined data such as a thumbnail, and supports 10-bit log, and three colors per pixel. Alpha channels are not supported.
The DirectDraw ® Surface (DDS) file format is used to store textures and cubic environment maps, both with and without mipmap levels. This format can store uncompressed and compressed pixel formats, and is the preferred file format for storing DXTn compressed data. Microsoft ® is the developer of this file format.
3ds Max can render images to Encapsulated PostScript ® format files, which have the .eps or .ps extension.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is an 8-bit (256-color) format developed by Informix for the CompuServe ® information service. It was originally designed to minimize file transfer times over telephone lines.
An IFL (Image File List) file is an ASCII file that constructs an animation by listing single-frame bitmap files to be used for each rendered frame. When you assign an IFL file as a bitmap, rendering steps through each specified frame, resulting in an animated map.
The Autodesk ME Image Sequence (IMSQ) format is an XML file used by the Autodesk products Cleaner and Toxik. You generate IMSQ files in the Render Output group of the Render Setup dialog Common Parameters rollout by turning on Put Image File List(s) In Output Path(s) and then clicking Create Now.
JPEG (.jpeg or .jpg) files follow the standards set by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. These files use a variable compression method that is called lossy compression because of the loss of image quality as you increase the compression. However, the JPEG compression scheme is extremely good and you can sometimes compress the file up to 200:1 without severe loss of image quality. JPEG is consequently a popular format for posting image files on the Internet for minimum file size and fast download time.
QuickTime ® is a standard file format created by Apple ® for storing common digital media types such as audio and video. When you choose QuickTime (*.mov) as the Save As Type, your animation is saved as a .mov file.
The MPEG format is a standard for movie files. MPEG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group. MPEG files can have a .mpg or .mpeg file name extension. MPEG is supported only as an input file format. You can use MPEG files as texture maps.
3ds Max can both read and write image files in the OpenEXR format. OpenEXR is both an image file format and a general open-source API for reading and writing such files.
3ds Max can import and export Radiance Picture (PIC) files. The PIC file is a lighting-analysis format used for the same purpose as LogLUV TIFF files.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a still-image file format developed for use with the Internet and World Wide Web.
PSD is the filename extension for graphics files native to Adobe ® Photoshop ® . This image format supports multiple layers of images superimposed to get the final image. Each layer can have any number of channels (R, G, B, Mask, and so on). It is a powerful file format because multiple layers can contribute to a variety of special effects.
The Radiance image file format is used for high-dynamic-range images (HDRI). Most cameras don’t have the capability to capture the dynamic range (the gamut of luminances between dark and bright regions) that is present in the real world. However, the range can be recovered by taking a series of pictures of the same subject with different exposure settings, and combining them into one image file.
The RLA format (Run-Length Encoded, version A) is a popular SGI ® format that supports the ability to include arbitrary image channels. While setting up a file for output, if you select RLA Image File from the list and click the Setup button, you’ll go to the RLA setup dialog. Once there, you can specify what channels (and what format) you want to write out to the file.
RPF (Rich Pixel Format) is the format that supports the ability to include arbitrary image channels. While setting up a file for output, if you select RPF Image File from the list, you’ll go to the RPF setup dialog. Once there, you can specify what channels you want to write out to the file.
The SGI™ Image File format is a bitmap file type created by Silicon Graphics ® . SGI Image File support in 3ds Max lets you load and save files in both 8- and 16-bit color depth, with alpha channels, and RLE Compression.
The Targa (TGA) format was developed by Truevision for their video boards. The format supports 32-bit true color; that is, 24-bit color plus an alpha channel, and is typically used as a true color format.
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a multiplatform bitmap format originating on the Macintosh® and in desktop-publishing applications. TIFF is a common choice if you plan to send your output to a print service bureau or import the image into a page-layout program.
YUV files are still-image graphics files in the Abekas ® Digital Disk format. YUV is supported only as an input file format. You can use YUV files as general-purpose bitmaps, but you can’t render to a YUV file.
Geometry File Formats
In addition to using the Import command on the Application menu, you can import geometry by dragging and dropping. If the scene to which you’re importing already contains geometry, 3ds Max usually asks whether you want to merge the imported geometry with the existing scene, or replace the scene entirely.
3ds Max creates Body Objects when you import certain file formats, such as SAT files.
3ds Max can import the WIRE format from Alias and other applications, as well as the comparable APF (Autodesk Packet File) format used by Autodesk Showcase and other applications. You can also export to the WIRE format.
The topics in this section describe how to share files with Adobe Illustrator.
When you choose ASCII Scene Export (*.ase) as the Save As type, the exported file is an ASCII representation of your scene. A dialog lets you specify which scene components are included, and how they’re output. This is helpful if you are writing a program that requires you to parse the ASCII file.
You can import CATIA V4 files as 3ds Max Body Objects.
You can import CATIA V5 files as 3ds Max Body Objects.
The topics in this section describe how to share files with AutoCAD and other programs that use the DWG format.
DXF files are used to import and export objects to and from AutoCAD and other programs that support this file format. Most commonly, DXF files are used to import and export modeling data to and from CAD programs that have support for DXF but not DWG files. The topics in this section describe how to work with the DXF format.
IPT and IAM are the native Autodesk Inventor® file formats for parts (IPT) and assemblies (IAM). You can import both file formats into 3ds Max.
With 3D DWF publishing, you can export Design Web Format™ (.DWF™) files of your three-dimensional models with nearly the same visual fidelity as in rendered scenes. DWF files are highly compressed. You can share them easily with team members who might not have 3ds Max.
FBX is the file format native to Autodesk MotionBuilder, a system used for the creation, editing, and blending of motion capture and keyframe animation. It is also the file format to use for sharing data with Autodesk Revit Architecture. You can import and export files in this format with 3ds Max.
You can import and export IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification) files with 3ds Max.
You can import JT files as 3ds Max Body Objects.
The topics in this section describe how to use land development data with 3ds Max. Land data typically comes from civil engineering projects, and can use a few different file formats.
The topics in this section describe how to use motion-capture files in the HTR (Hierarchical Translation-Rotation) and TRC formats.
The OpenFlight® format is commonly used in visual-simulation systems. You can import and export OpenFlight files. With the Flight Studio® utility, you can also create and edit objects and attributes in OpenFlight files.
You can import Pro/ENGINEER files as 3ds Max Body Objects.
The SAT-format feature handles import and export precise geometric boundary representation (BREP) data, also known as ACIS solids, for trimmed surfaces, solids models and assemblies as 3ds Max Body Objects. SAT-format objects can come from Autodesk programs such as Revit and Inventor, as well as third-party software like Rhino and Catia.
You can set up 3D scenes and animations in 3ds Max, and then export them in Shockwave 3D (W3D) format for use in interactive presentations in Adobe Director. To start this process, choose Application menu Export, and choose Shockwave 3D Scene Export (*.W3D) as the file type. Choosing this format opens the Shockwave 3D Scene Export Options dialog.
The SketchUp importer enables direct import of scene files from versions 6, 7, and 8 of Google ™ SketchUp. It supports multiple cameras and scene materials, and can keep objects intact even if they reside on multiple layers. When bringing an SKP file into 3ds Max, all objects are imported, except (optionally) hidden objects, and existing 3ds Max-scene contents remain intact.
You can import SolidWorks files as 3ds Max Body Objects.
You can import STEP files as 3ds Max Body Objects.
The topics in this section describe how to import and export stereolithography (STL) files.
The topics in this section describe how to work with mesh files from 3D Studio ® , the DOS-based predecessor to 3ds Max.
SHP is the 3D Studio (DOS) shape file format. You can import these files into 3ds Max.
You can import NX files as 3ds Max Body Objects.
DRF is the file format for VIZ Render, a rendering tool formerly included with AutoCAD Architecture. The DRF file type is similar to MAX files from previous versions of Autodesk VIZ.
The topics in this section describe how to work with VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) files in 3ds Max.
3ds Max can import and export the text-based (ASCII) Wavefront format OBJ. An OBJ file contains geometry descriptions, while the associated MTL file format contains material descriptions.